- THE MAGAZINE
"DuPont has been aggressively reducing PFOA emissions to the environment," said DuPont Vice President Susan Stalnecker. "Having achieved a 94 percent reduction in global manufacturing emissions by yearend 2005, we are well on our way to meet the goals and objectives established by the EPA stewardship program."
In a letter issued to DuPont today from EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, he said, "DuPont and other proactive companies have been working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to better understand the sources and pathways of exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and related chemicals. Considerable progress has been made by putting in place a comprehensive testing and research program that will fill in many of the critical information gaps that exist around our understanding of potential exposure and risks. The data from the research and testing programs will allow the Agency and others to make informed decisions about any related risk management actions that are warranted."
Johnson said further: "Although our risk assessment activities are not complete and new data may change the current picture, to date EPA is not aware of any studies specifically relating current levels of PFOA exposure to human health effects."
Also, in a news briefing, Susan Hazen, Acting Administrator of the EPA Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances said, "I am pleased to say that DuPont has already responded to Administrator Johnson's letter, and they have alerted us they are formally committed to the program. I would like to commend them for their leadership in moving to voluntarily reduce their emissions and uses of PFOA and I am hopeful that others will follow."
Hazen also noted that EPA has consistently said there is no information that would indicate any concern with consumers continuing to use household products.
The company said the EPA program will accelerate industry-wide reduction of PFOA emissions to the environment, while ensuring continued availability of the many essential products serving critical industries such as telecommunications, aerospace, semiconductors, and fire fighting, as well as consumer products.Key elements of the DuPont commitment to EPA include:
- Reducing global emissions from manufacturing facilities by 98 percent by 2007. This incorporates the substantial achievement of 94 percent reduction already realized through DuPont's ongoing reduction program;
- Establishing emission caps for U.S. facilities to limit the absolute number of pounds emitted;
- Implementing product caps for PFOA in fluoropolymer dispersions; and,
- Reducing PFOA content and any residual impurities in fluorotelomer products that could break down to PFOA.
DuPont has regularly kept the EPA informed of progress toward the company's commitments relative to employee health studies, research on consumer articles, the environmental fate of products made with or containing PFOA and new product formulations.
In addition, DuPont will work individually and with others in industry to inform EPA's regulatory counterparts in the European Union, Canada, China and Japan about activities and new information concerning PFOA. This work includes a discussion on the emission reductions from DuPont facilities as well as the reformulation of its fluoropolymer dispersion products